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What is a Software Consultant?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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A software consultant is a professional who assesses a business or organization’s processes and provides software solutions and other recommendations based on that assessment. This professional may perform this function either as a self-employed individual, or as part of a software consulting firm. He or she may integrate customized software into a business or organization’s processes in order to increase efficiency and minimize manpower or costs.

For example, a gym or fitness center could benefit from the integration of proprietary software that tracks the progress of the gym’s members, in the form of measurements and other personalized data. A consultant, either individually or as part of a firm, might specialize in the creation of such a software for fitness centers, and pitch the software to various business and organizations within the fitness industry.

As software can perform a wide variety of functions, a software consultant might deliver software solutions to a wide variety of industries. Businesses and organizations will often hire one or a firm on a contract basis, if such expertise is not already be available in-house. For example, a real estate company that already employs a computer programmer, webmaster, or other information technology (IT) professionals might also hire a consultant who can create a database of properties customized to suit the company’s information management needs.

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Software consulting firms that are contracted by businesses or organizations are often hired on a project basis. This means the consulting firm must integrate new software into the business or organization within a certain time frame agreed-upon by both parties. The project team, which is typically made up of personnel from both the hirer’s organization and the software consulting firm, work together to come up with software solutions that suits the needs of the business or organization. Personnel who will work closely with the software often receive special training during the project and are heavily-involved in its integration to help familiarize them with its various functions.

As businesses and organizations have become increasingly reliant on technology, the development of new and improved software systems delivered by a software consultant can sometimes render certain positions or expenses obsolete. For example, software can be programmed to analyze patterns in various data, retrieve specific information within a variety of parameters, and eliminate the need for hard copy storage, such as filing rooms and various filing systems. In such a case, the business or organization may no longer require a filing clerk or filing supplies and storage.

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Discuss this Article

anon992330
Post 9

@subway11: "...imported and those that needed to be exported."

That's easy:

#script

{

Create Button - [IMPORT]; Create Button - [EXPORT]

}

My $56m please.

Ten years for that?!

I think I qualify to go into software consulting; don't you agree!? --

Anthony 2.0

anon302473
Post 8

Thanks for sharing this post! I have been looking into custom software development positions because I love that field of technology. Thanks again for the information!

EyalAmir
Post 7

I think a software consulting company is only worthwhile if it adds value that a contractor or regular employee can't. That's why consultants are paid so much more. This is not always easy to do, so I think these companies have to comprise of very talented individuals. They need to do a lot of self-training that a contractor or regular employee is usually paid to do.

There are a few ways of adding value. But they all boil down to doing the work better and/or faster than a contractor or employee can. And the only way to do that is to know the subject better. So specialization or mastering a skill or set of skills is key.

If a consulting company doesn't add this kind of value, it probably isn't worth the cost.

Moldova
Post 3

Subway11-Wow that is a lot of money. I think that software development consulting is a lucrative field because not only is the functionality of the software critical but many people do not understand the intricacies of software development which causes the demand for custom software consulting to rise.

Kewell is one of the many software consulting companies that provides custom solutions for those in the logistics and freight forwarding industries.

subway11
Post 2

Icecream17- This is especially true for companies that are in industries with high regulations and are more complicated.

It is usually easier and cost effective for a company to seek the services of software development consultants than to try to devise the program on their own.

UPS for example wanted to create its own software to handle logistical shipments that were imported and those that needed to be exported.

This was their heavy freight division and had nothing to do with its small package division.

The process took ten years and over $56 million dollars and the software did not work.

The functionality was poor and the processing speed was terrible. As a result they went with a software consulting service that assisted them with this process and used their software instead.

icecream17
Post 1

Some companies choose to design infrastructure software in order to meet the company’s business needs. They may seek software consulting companies in the USA to design a software package that the company can utilize.

In some cases the software designed is proprietary to the software company and the software company also provides technical support and training for their client’s software program.

Computer software consulting is generally how companies decide how to put together their applications software to work with the new software design.

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